Say’s trig

(Anaxipha exigua)

Conservation Status
Say’s trig
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

There are 127 species of brown trigs (genus Anaxipha) worldwide, 13 species in North America north of Mexico. Only Say’s trig (Anaxipha exigua) has a range that extends into Minnesota.

Say’s trig is a small true cricket but a large brown trig. It occurs in the eastern half on the United States from New Hampshire and Minnesota south to Florida and Texas, and in Ontario Canada. It is found on vegetation near the ground in open woodlands and old fields, on the banks of rivers and streams, and on roadsides, usually in areas with at least partial shade.

Say’s trig is the largest and the most boldly marked Anaxipha in North America. Females are ¼ to 516 (5.8 to 8.0 mm) in length. Males are a little smaller, 316 to ¼ (5.6 to 6.7 mm) in length. The body is straw colored with dark brown markings. It is never green.

The head is straw colored. On the top of the head there are four reddish-brown stripes; a pair of narrowly separated bold stripes in the middle, and a thinner stripe on each side that ends at the compound eye. The area between the eyes is slightly convex. The antennae are tan, thread-like, and very long, much longer than the body. They are inserted above the middle of the face. The sensory mouthparts (maxillary palps) are the same color as the head, not black.

The exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum) is wider than long.

There are two long, spine-like, sensory appendages (cerci) at the tip of the abdomen. On the female the ovipositor is more than 116 (2 mm) long and is curved upward, somewhat sword-shaped. This feature is the source of one of the common names for the subfamily, “sword-bearing crickets”. At the base of the wings on the male there is a well developed row of bumps (a file) on the underside of the forewing and a sharp edge (blade) on the upper side of the hind wing. The song of the male is a continuous, uninterrupted trill. It is very loud for such a small insect.

The legs are pale with dark markings. The front legs are slender, not swollen. The third segment (femur) of the hind leg has scratchy dark marking above and a bold dark stripe on the outer (lateral) face. The margins of the stripe are unbroken and sharply contrast with the background color. The fourth segment (tibia) has six large, slender spines arranged in two rows on the lower (distal) half. There are no teeth between the spines. On each spine, on the side nearest the tibia, there is a fringe of long hairs arranged in a single line. As with all true crickets, there is a flat, round, hearing organ (tympanum) at the base of the tibia on the front leg. The tympanum is well developed. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has only 3 segments. On the hind leg the first tarsal segment is equal to or shorter than the remaining two segments combined. The second segment is heart-shaped, compressed along its upper and lower side (dorsoventrally flattened). and hairy on the underside. The last tarsal segment has a pair of long claws. The inner surface on each claw has well developed teeth, though these can only be seen with a high quality microscope with 50X magnification.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Male: 316 to ¼ (5.6 to 6.7 mm)

Female: ¼ to 516 (5.8 to 8.0 mm)

 
     
 

Song

 
 

The song is a very loud, long, continuous trill. At 77° F the trill is at 7.2 kHz at the rate of 44 pulses per second. It is slower at lower temperatures. Though very loud, the source of the sound is difficult to determine in the field. It is best distinguished using a spectrogram.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Open woodlands, old fields, river banks, stream banks, and roadsides.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year: late July through late October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Leaves, flowers, insect eggs, and small insects

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82, 83.

 
  11/27/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Relatively uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)  
 

Suborder

Ensifera (long-horned orthoptera)  
  Infraorder Gryllidea (crickets)  
 

Superfamily

Grylloidea  
 

Family

Gryllidae (true crickets)  
 

Subfamily

Trigonidiinae (winged bush crickets, trigs)  
 

Genus

Anaxipha (brown trigs)  
  Species Group exigua  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Anaxipha pulicaria

Anaxipha pulicaria pulicaria

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Say’s bush cricket

Say’s trig

Say’s winged bush cricket

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Maxillae

Paired mouth structures of arthropods located immediately behind the mandible and used for tasting and manipulating food.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and insects, and as weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi or palps.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  Say’s trig   Say’s trig
       
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  cricket - Anaxipha exigua
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About

Aug 29, 2012

The crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, etc...are in LARGE numbers this year....I went outside at 2am and the sound was deafening....

Normally crickets creep me out (Gentlemen prefer katydids)

but this one I found to be cute...this is the first time I've seen this type of cricket....

I'm pretty sure it is a Anaxipha exigua...correct me if I'm wrong....

   
       

 

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Alfredo Colon
8/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

Say’s trig


     
     
 
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Created: 11/27/2020

Last Updated:

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